Another Year, but he is remembered…

Robert Burns

Robert Burns

But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!
Still you are blest, compared with me!”
Robert Burns

Robbie Burns was celebrated this past weekend with the traditional Address to a Haggis accompanied by the rousing sound of bagpipes.  For those of you who have not tried Haggis, please do – you may be surprised by how much you enjoy the “Trenching your gushing entrails bright.”  Never fear, there is vegetarian Haggis so all can join in the merriment.

A Facebook response to my tribute to Robbie Burns, was especially noteworthy: “Another year gone, but he is remembered.”  The truth of this comment is indisputable, which is confirmed by a recent CBC article, which states that Robbie Burns holds the third position on the number of non-religions statues after Queen Victoria and Christopher Columbus; the Guinness World Records places Auld Lang Syne as holding the third place on most popular song in the world.

How did a man of humble birth who was home-schooled, become a household word and an inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism?  Perhaps it was his understanding of and compassion for the human spirit.  His poetry is direct, spontaneous, sincere; his themes as haunting as they are radical.  He spoke of class inequities, patriotism, poverty, cultural identity – issues that we struggle with 257 years after his birth.

Life does bring about an ending, but words cannot be contained.  They live on and stoke fires in the hearts and minds of those that follow.  When we read William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Percy Bysshe Shelley, we are reading words that hold the influence of Robbie Burns.  When we listen to Bob Dylan, it is good to know that he was motivated by Robbie Burns’ “A Red Red Rose.”  Even now, “Robert Burns, The Musical,” is a reminder of the endurance of the words of a poet.

Burns Monument

Gardens at the Burns Monument, Alloway

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Gardens at the Burns Monument, Alloway

Burns Monument

Burns Monument at the poet’s birthplace, Alloway

11 thoughts on “Another Year, but he is remembered…

  1. Mr. Burns was a handsome dude! And I believe the women and girls loved him. Did not a lady rescue him once. Anyway, he left a great legacy to be sure. No doubt, he had an outstanding knowledge of humankind. Alas, I have not had the pleasure of the haggis, but I am told it is quite lovely and tasty. An experience yet to be enjoyed!

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    • You would enjoy Haggis – there is a great deal of history associated with this dish. And there is some indication that it may have been more than a Scottish dish. It seems that the English also served a form of Haggis.

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  2. His influence around the world is remarkable, and he did it without a twitter account! One of my favourites is
    Some hae meat and canna eat,
    And some wad eat that want it,
    But we hae meat and we can eat,
    Sae let the Lord be thankit.

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    • Isn’t that the best prayer! It holds the essence of gratitude even as the words acknowledge the plight of those who cannot partake either through poverty or ill-health. What resonates most with me is that it is a prayer for the present. For this moment, let us be thankful for there may come a time when our health will fail or our financial fortunes may change. Enjoyed visiting your garden!!! Hugs

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  3. Good morning dear Rebecca, thank you for giving me all these news about Robbie Burns. I didn’t know there is a Musical with this name and Bob Dylan was inspired by this special artist! Last and not least I have tried Haggis when I was in Scottland. 😄 Martina

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    • Thank you, Liz. There is a tendency to put icons like Robert Burns on a pedestal to the point they lived perfect lives. What was most amazing was that Robbie lived an ordinary life, but achieved extraordinary outcomes. He had a marvelous understanding of the human condition. “I would some power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as others see us.”

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